Taliban insurgents dealt a serious blow to one of the Afghan Army’s most highly regarded units on Friday, killing 13 soldiers and overrunning their outpost in eastern Afghanistan
It was one of a series of bloody attacks by the insurgents during their current spring offensive, which has helped drive the rate of government fatalities to the highest level of the war.
Afghan soldiers and policemen are dying at a rate more than double the rate a year ago, according to military officials.
The numbers underscore how much more of the fighting has been handed over to Afghan forces and raise questions about their readiness for the increased responsibility.
The fighting began at dawn and lasted about five hours in the Nari district of Kunar province, Defense Ministry spokesman Mohammad Zahir Azimi said.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack and said the insurgents captured the base, seizing ammunition and weapons. He put the death toll at 15 Afghan soldiers, claiming the militants suffered no casualties among their fighters.
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